The Minister of Works and Housing, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has cut sod for the construction works on the Nima-Paloma to Odaw drains to begin.

The construction works, under the Greater Accra Resilience and Integrated Development (GARID) project, will see the upgrade of major drains from Nima down to the Odaw Basin.

At a brief sod-cutting ceremony yesterday, the Minister noted that the project would help mitigate flooding around the Ring Road, Kwame Nkrumah Circle, Adabraka and Asylum Down.

He emphasised the project’s pivotal role in mitigating the perennial flooding issues that have plagued Accra for years.

“This significant milestone is expected to help reduce the perennial flooding challenges in Accra and bring the needed relief to residents, commuters, traders, and businesses, especially those in Asylum Down and the communities upstream,” he said.

The Minister said the GARID project not only aims to upgrade the drainage infrastructure, but also includes the performance-based dredging of the Odaw River and the reconstruction of the broken sections of the Odaw channel at Achimota-Abofu. He announced future drainage improvement plans for Kaneshie. This, he indicated, would be executed in two lots: the construction of a storm drain from Accra Academy to Pramprom Junction, and another from the Bank of Ghana Quarters to the Odaw.

“In the coming weeks, contracts will be signed for drainage improvement works in Kaneshie in two lots. Works will commence with the relocation of utilities, after the completion of the ongoing resettlement of project-affected persons,” he added.

He explained that these developments were part of the broader 2024 National Flood Control Programme, which involves dredging activities, concrete lining of storm drainage channels, and the removal of critical bottlenecks in major drains, particularly in flood hotspots across the country.

The Greater Accra Regional Minister, Titus Glover, praised government’s efforts in improving the country’s drainage infrastructure.

He pledged strong coordination from his office to ensure the timely execution and completion of the project.

He also admonished residents to maintain high hygienic standards, warning that those who defecate openly or dump refuse into the drains would face penalties.

“Government efforts in improving our drainage systems are commendable, and it is imperative that residents also do their part. Open defecation and refuse dumping into drains will not be tolerated, and offenders will be dealt with,” he warned.

Dr. Ohene Sarfo, the GARID Project Coordinator, provided further details on the construction works. He noted that the construction of the 10-meter by 3-meter, 1-kilometer drains is expected to take 18 months.

He added that measures were in place to ensure that that the contractor delivers according to the project timeline without compromising the quality of work.

He stressed that commencement of the project was a crucial step toward addressing the flooding issues that had long affected Accra’s residents and businesses. He urged residents to bear with the constructors as they work around the clock to bring relief to them.